What are some of the more common obstacles to evangelism? Sadly, there are any number of things that can hold us back from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the lost,
In this series, we are examining a number of things (in no particular order) that all-too-commonly keep us from faithfully and obediently doing our part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
A second obstacle that many of us need to learn to overcome is simply a lack of confidence in the power of the gospel.
In other words, we often (even usually?) have very low expectations in evangelism.
Or better yet, we don’t just have low expectations – we have negative expectations! We think not only that nothing good will come of it (i.e. God being glorified in the salvation of sinners), but rather that (if anything) something bad will result. Not just unbelief, but rejection, mocking, ridicule, etc.
Last time we looked at Paul’s words in the opening chapter of Romans. Those words bear repeating here:
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:14-17, ESV)
Paul tells us that not only was he “under obligation” (v.14) to preach the gospel, but he was “eager” (v.15) to do so as well. Most of us are probably able to identify with the former (i.e. the “supposed to” nature of evangelism), but how many of us are ever truly “eager” to share the gospel?
So what was Paul’s secret? How can we, like Paul, not be ashamed of the gospel (v.16), but rather be eager to share the good news?
The first obstacle that we looked at (available here) was an improper view of the task of evangelism. The second obstacle that we often find ourselves confronted with is an improper view of the message of our evangelism – the gospel.
What I mean by this (at least in this installment of our series) is not so much confusion about the content of our message (although that is often a problem as well), but rather the nature of our message. Paul tells us that he was eager to preach the gospel (not ashamed) because he knew that the gospel of Christ is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (v.16).
The gospel is not just powerful – it is the power of God! In other words, God Himself works through the gospel for the salvation of sinners.
Do we want to see God at work in the lives of sinners, bringing them to new life in Christ by faith, saving them from sin, and transforming their lives by His Spirit? Then there is one place (and only one place!) where that can be found – the message of the gospel.
God works through the gospel of His Son. So we have every reason to be eager to share the good news. That is where we will see God at work!